Childcare - If it ain't broke, don't fix it

The Government’s $1.6 billion CoVid-19 childcare package will decimate family day care providers across the State, both city and bush, if it continues, says Mark Banasiak, MLC of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party.

The package has been advertised by the Federal government as “free childcare” however, family day care operators and some childcare centres will have to make ends meet with a 50% loss, in some cases that is as little as $6 per hour. 

“The Federal government’s announcement of free childcare is a poorly executed point scoring exercise, and it’s not free childcare at all. 

“The 1.6-billion-dollar package is roughly the same amount of money they would normally spend, per quarter, on the Child Care Subsidy, ”said Mr Banasiak.

The Government have referred childcare centres to wage subsidy programs, but the $1500 will only cover around 70% of a childcare workers income, many workers will not be eligible, and they payments apparently won’t start until May.

“The childcare centres I have spoken to say only 30% of their workers will be eligible due to the casual nature of their workforce and the high turnover of staff. 

“They have essentially stolen from our childcare operators’ wallets. How are these people supposed to keep their businesses running?” said Mr Banasiak.

The Member for Barwon Roy Butler has shared his concerns with Mr Banasiak following communications with families who rely on governesses to teach their children while they work on their remote farms. 

“Mr Butler has told me in some cases families have shared their heartache that it is not worth their governess showing up, as a JobSeeker payment would offer more," said Mr Banasiak.

In many cases the families would like to continue to pay the gap, but even this option has been removed.

“One childcare centre operator I spoke to said they would be looking at $150,000 loss if this went on for the anticipated 90 days.

“There will be no need for government to offer free childcare in the coming months, because operators won’t be able to remain open.

“This is not more money, or new money to support the industry, its sleight of hand, sneaky cost shifting,” said Mr Banasiak.